Andrea Belotti told UEFA.com that fans saw "the real Italy" in the draw with Portugal, the improved display renewing hope that they can kick on to another level against England.
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Andrea Belotti believes Italy took "a step forward" with their approach against Portugal and the striker is ready to take an even bigger one with qualification on the line next time out.
Belotti summed up Italy's frustrations when kicking the foot of the post midway through the first half after being thwarted by José Sá; not the first time that the Portugal goalkeeper would deny the physical No9.
"We wanted to win this game," Belotti said. "We prepared very well with the intention of forgetting the defeat against Sweden. We played well and tonight you saw the real Italy. Although we didn't score, we showed the attitude that we need for all games – everybody ran and helped each other. We just weren't clinical enough in front of goal."
The Palermo striker linked up well with Domenico Berardi on a number of occasions and came closer than anyone to scoring when heading Cristiano Biraghi's cross on to the bar. He will hope for better fortune against England on Wednesday, when only a win will be enough to keep Italy's semi-final hopes alive.
"We deserved to win but now is the time to be focused on England," Belotti added. "We have to try to win and reach the semi-finals. We're confident because we played a great game tonight, but not only technically. We've taken a step forward and have to try to do better again in the next game."